The Hindu system of cycles, inherited from the Vedic civilization, is broken down into 4 time cycles. Krita/Satya Yuga (Golden Age), Treta Yaga (Silver Age), Dvapara Yuga (Copper/Bronze Age), and the Kali Yuga (Iron Age). In one of the oldest Vedic writings, attributed to the god-man Manu, the four yugas are said to add up to 24,000 years, but when they are enumerated they only come to 12,000 years. The Krita/Satya Yuga lasts 4,800 years; the Treta Yuga lasts 3,600; the Dvapara lasts 2,400 years and the Kali Yuga lasts 1,200 years. The “descent into darkness”- Kali Yuga – started when the summer solstice (June) Sun was aligned with the apparent Galactic Center, around 10,800 BC. The “Ascent back into light” takes place now, when the winter solstice (December) Sun aligns with the apparent Galactic Center around 2002-2012.
Kali yuga is known as the age of the male demon, Kali. The scriptures, like Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.2, teach that during the 432,000 year age of Kali humanity deteriorates and falls into barbarism. “Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, physical strength and memory diminish with each passing day.” Severe droughts and plagues are everywhere. Slovenliness, illness, hunger and fear spread. Nations are continually at war with one another. People in this age will be lazy, greedy and deceitful. The end of Kali Yuga is marked by the return of the Kalki, the last reincarnation of Vishnu, who will battle the demon Kali.